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Chinatown, London

London’s Chinatown is right in the center of London, between Soho and Leicester Square. Here you will find Chinese grocery shops, bakeries, restaurants, souvenirs, decorations etc. It’s also the central point for Chinese New Year celebrations.

There are not many vegan options here to be honest, and its hard to avoid seeing numerous dead animals hanging up in the restaurant windows. If going to a restaurant here you will just have to try your luck at explaining what you want to the staff and hope they understand. The bakeries have a few options, my favorite being the sesame balls with sweet bean paste inside! These are usually vegan but sometimes lard is used so double check. If you really want to eat Chinese food near here, your better off going to one of the Veg Buffets.

It’s worth walking around just to see the gates, lanterns, shops etc. but best during Chinese New Year. You can also catch a classic at the Prince Charles Cinema.

Main Entrance at Wardour & Gerrard St, south of Shaftesbury Avenue, walk from Piccadilly or Leicester Square stations.


Greenwich is home to the O2 Arena, Greenwich Park, Greenwich market, Cutty Sark, The National Maritime Museum, Queens House, and the Royal Observatory where you can stand on the line that divides between the East and West side of GMT, Greenwich Mean Time!

Unfortunately there is a lot of construction going on at the moment to prepare for the Olympics in 2012, so Cutty Sark is currently closed, and the lower area of the park is also closed, but you can still see everything else.

Getting off the DLR you are close to Greenwich Market, selling food, clothes, art etc. There is a Vegetarian Ethiopian Food stand if you’re looking for lunch. Outside, head towards the National Maritime Museum. This is FREE entry but it’s more of a “bits from ships” museum as opposed to ships themselves. So if you are expecting to see full ships here, you will be disappointed, and you’re better off heading to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for that.

The 17th Century Queen’s House is next to the NMM, also FREE entry, displays fine art, and is some times a venue for weddings and private events.

From the NMM you can enter Greenwich Park and walk up the hill to the Royal Observatory with great views of Canary Wharf, the O2 Arena and Central London. Inside are Flamsteed House and the Meridian Courtyard where you can stand right on the Greenwich Meridian Line, which represents the Prime Meridian of the World – Longitude 0º. Entrance to these two is £7. The Planetarium is now also part of the Royal Observatory, via the South building. You must book ahead for shows, £6.50.

If you’d rather not go inside, the marked line does continue outside the gate & down the wall, so you can still take a photo there for free if that’s all you’re after. Also in the corner of Greenwich Park is a wildlife enclosure with Deer, Bats, Foxes and Birds.

Take the DLR from Canary Wharf to Cutty Sark or Greenwich Station. Or you can take the River Service from Canary Wharf Pier to Greenwich Pier for £3.00 (with an Oyster card).

The NMM, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House are open daily 10:00~17:00 (last admission 16:30)
The Meridian Courtyard and Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory stay open till 19:15 during summer.